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Parry: pension transfers and omissions

Speed read
HMRC v Parry [2020] UKSC 35 is concerned with the IHT analysis of a pension transfer made when the member was in ill health, followed by an omission to exercise her rights under the pension scheme. The FTT found that the omission, but not the transfer, was a chargeable transfer; the Upper Tribunal found that neither were chargeable transfers; and the Court of Appeal held that both were chargeable transfers. By a bare majority the Supreme Court disagreed in part, concluding that the transfer was not made in a transaction with gratuitous intent. The decision provides some helpful clarity on the scope of IHTA 1984 s 3(3) and s 10, but also highlights some of the conceptual difficulties which can arise when an omission is said to be an associated operation.

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